A chess match from an age when titans came ready for battle
By David R. Sands – The Washington Times – Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The world title match between Norwegian champion Magnus Carlsen and Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin, set for New York City in November, will almost certainly be more subtle, more sophisticated, more finely balanced than the world title match that was played 150 years ago this month in London.
It’s unlikely to be as fun — or as bloodthirsty.
The 14-game match between veteran German star Adolf Anderssen and Austrian challenger Wilhelm Steinitz featured not a single draw, with Steinitz claiming the prize only by winning the final two games for an 8-6 edge. Both players posted four-game winning streaks during the affair, and 12 of the 14 games opened with either the Evans or the King’s Gambit.
Although not universally considered a world championship match (American Paul Morphy was just beginning what turned out to be a permanent withdrawal from international play), the match marked the first in a nearly 30-year unbeaten match string for Steinitz, the acknowledged world champ when he finally relinquished his crown in 1894 to young German challenger Emanuel Lasker.
Best known now for his “scientific” defensive approach to the game, Steinitz was a Romantic brawler against the great Anderssen. The take-no-prisoners approach of both players was on display in Game 5, when Anderssen’s Evans Gambit just missed the mark in a back-and-forth cage match.
Full article here.